, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The Cabinet has asked Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to temporarily fill the office of the Deputy Chief Justice that left vacant after the resignation of Nancy Baraza.
A statement from State House said that the CJ should consult with the Attorney General to effect the appointment since Parliament is not in session to approve a nominee.
“The Cabinet asked the Chief Justice to closely liaise with the Attorney General to urgently fill – even though temporarily – the office of Deputy Chief Justice,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service said.
Baraza quit the Judiciary in October, saying she was not likely to get a fair hearing at the Supreme Court where she filed an appeal against findings of a tribunal formed to investigate her conduct.
The DCJ was suspended by President Mwai Kibaki on January 25, 2012 when he appointed a tribunal to investigate her conduct, following allegations that she pinched a security guard’s nose and threatened to shoot her.
The incident occurred at the Village Market shopping mall in Nairobi at the end of December 2011.
A seven-member tribunal chaired by former Chief Justice of Tanzania Augustino Ramadhani had advised President Kibaki to remove Baraza – who was also the vice president of the Supreme Court – from office.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet which held a meeting on Thursday under the chairmanship of President Kibaki, urged the public to take advantage of the remaining time to confirm their voter registration status at their respective polling stations.
The Cabinet also asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to expeditiously gazette the 33,000 polling stations that will be used for elections.
The Cabinet underlined the need for proper and thorough civic education on the voting processes with 37 days left to the March 4 General Election.
The Cabinet further asked all relevant government agencies to ensure adequate security, during the campaigns, at the elections time and the period after the elections.
The meeting also received a report on the preparedness for transition to devolved governments with all relevant laws aimed at facilitating the takeoff of county governments having gotten presidential assent.
Progress made for the takeoff of county governments includes the ongoing recruitment of key staff which will be completed before the General Election.
The government is also in the process of identifying appropriate county offices that will be gazetted after the process is complete.
The Cabinet also approved the establishment of 15 new public universities and technical training institutes, around the country.
“The new public universities will be as a result of the upgrade of constituent university colleges that have come of age and whose status has been duly approved by the Universities Accreditation Commission,” read the statement.